Central Florida faith leaders prepare for TS Fiona impacts to Puerto Rico

ORLANDO, Fla. — Local faith leaders have already started planning for the impact of Tropical Storm Fiona.


They held two calls Saturday to prepare.

As Fiona marches across the Carbbean, people on the island are bracing for potential landslides, severe flooding and power outages.

Faith leaders said that what happens in Puerto Rico will still affect residents in Orlando.

They said they want people to be prepared to help out where they can.

Read: Eye on the Tropics: TS Fiona to become hurricane, warning issued for Puerto Rico

The island is still recovering from Hurricane Maria five years later.

Any amount of rain and wind could be detrimental to the infrastructure.

Christ the King Episcopal Church in Orlando still helps thousands of Puerto Ricans who came to central Florida after Maria made landfall.

Read: WATCH: ‘Hurricane Maria: Power & Perseverance’

On Saturday, the church discussed the lessons that were learned and made plans for what could happen in the coming days.

“I prayed that this wasn’t going to be the way that we remembered Maria,” said Father Jose Rodriguez.

Rodriguez recalls the thousands of refugees that fled to Florida, and the Christ the King Episcopal Church specifically. Five years later, he is preparing to do the same thing again with other Orlando-area organizations.

Rodriguez said a series of calls were set up over the past two days, and the preparation has reached government leaders in the White House.

Read: Hurricane supply checklist: What should you include in your kit?

Local groups discussed plans to handle possible displacement in a second call Saturday night, including mental health services.

Rodriguez said having these services already in place with help make the transition much smoother, and they are prepared for when it happens.

“I was really hoping that this wouldn’t be the conversation that I would be having today,” he said. “But in reality, I believe this is what we, as a community, have prepared for.”

Christ the King will host an event Wednesday night to mourn the lives lost during Maria.

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